Storm “Filomena” has brought various cities, including Madrid, to a standstill, causing extensive damage. After the heavy snowfalls in different parts of the country, many people are now wondering what happens to the property (cars, shops, homes) that has been affected.

Insurance takes care of it

Fortunately, policies do not generally exclude snow or storms similar to “Filomena”. Most insurance policies cover the damage suffered in our residential block, our homes, vehicles and shops.

However, in order to ensure a quicker response by the insurer, it is advisable to collect as much documentation as possible in the form of photos and videos of the damage, since the situation on roads and access routes is making it difficult for loss adjusters to see, verify and assess it. Furthermore, because of the numerous claims that are building up, these professionals may not be able to visit you for quite a few days.

In the case of cars, for example, the insurance policy must be comprehensive, and third party policies will not cover damage.

In the case of home insurance, traditional policies would cover this type of incident, as would policies for business insurance, damage to commercial property, and homeowners’ associations.

It should be noted that fire insurance excludes this type of cover, as it only insures users against fires; however, it is becoming increasingly rare to find this kind of single-risk policy.

Not a case for the Consortium

The Insurance Compensation Consortium (CCS) provides cover for certain natural disasters, provided that the property is insured, i.e. an insurance policy has been contracted and part of the premium has been paid to the Consortium.

In the case of “Filomena,” the Consortium does not contemplate compensation for damage caused directly by snow or ice, although it does include possible floods caused by snow subsequently melting, and damage that may be caused by strong winds during the storm. This means that insurance companies will have to bear the costs caused by snow and ice directly. They will also be liable for the loss of profits arising from possible damage, provided that specific cover for such loss has been contracted.

Is Madrid a disaster area?

Madrid City Council is assessing the damage caused by the heavy snow to decide whether to ask for Madrid to be declared a disaster area. If this happens, it is important to emphasise that it is the Government that has official resources that will be allocated to those affected, in which case the Insurance Compensation Consortium would still not be involved.

For the time being, the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande Marlaska, announced last Sunday that he does not believe that there is a justification for declaring the capital a disaster area: “At present, we are in a different situation, without major damage to public or private property,” he said.

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